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Last chance to apply for self-employed Covid support

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Written by: Emma Lunn
28/05/2021
Self-employed workers only have until 1 June to apply for the fourth Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant.

Claims for the fourth support grant, worth up to £7,500, must be made by Tuesday.

The grant is designed to cover lost self-employed earnings through February, March and April as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Eligible workers can claim 80% of their business profits up to a maximum of £7,500 for the three-month period. The details of the grant were announced in the Budget in March.

To apply, you’ll need to ‘reasonably believe there is a significant reduction in your trading profits due to coronavirus between February 2021 and April 2021, and that you intend to continue to trade’.

If you claim, you must keep appropriate records as evidence of the impact on your business.

How to claim the fourth SEISS

Eligible self-employed workers can claim the money online at Gov.uk.

To confirm your eligibility and make your claim, you’ll need your:

  • National Insurance number
  • self-assessment unique taxpayer reference (UTR) number
  • Government Gateway user id and password
  • bank account number and sort code
  • address

Eligibility of the SEISS grants has been widened to include about 600,000 people who became self-employed in the 2019-20 tax year. These workers were excluded from previous grants as you needed to have filed a tax return for 2018-19 to apply.

However, the government has repeatedly refused to re-calculate the grant amount for women who took maternity leave in the past three years. Money paid out under the SEISS is based on a percentage of average profits over the past three years. But the eligibility conditions and calculation method do not exempt periods of maternity leave.

This means women who have taken time off to have a baby in the past three years receive a lower grant payment than other workers. Pregnant Then Screwed this week announced that it would be appealing the High Court decision which ruled in favour of the government.

If this is your first time claiming a SEISS grant, you may be asked additional questions to prove your identity.

Questions could relate to any of the following:

  • your UK passport
  • information held on your credit file (such as loans, credit cards or mortgages)
  • your self-assessment tax return (within the past three years)
  • your tax credit claim
  • your P60
  • one of your three most recent payslips

Once your claim for the SEISS grant has been approved, the money should be in your account within six working days.

A fifth SEISS grant will be available from July. Workers whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will continue to get 80% of average profits; those whose turnover has fallen less than 30% will receive a 30% grant.

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